With the view of addressing the impact faced by the Tamil Nadu students over NEET and abolishing the National Entrance Test in the state as per the DMK's poll promise in the assembly elections, MK Stalin's government has on Saturday formed a panel to study the NEET impact on the students in acquiring medical admissions.
According to reports, Chief Minister MK Stalin has formed the committee headed by retired High Court judge Justice AK Rajan to address the impact brought by the National Entrance Test on the students. NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) has been conducted across India by the National Testing Agency (NTA) as a single window for acquiring a medical seat in medical colleges.
The abrupt implementation of NEET and its dominance across the country had heavily distressed the medical aspirants particularly students from poor and downtrodden backgrounds. The hasty introduction of the national exam had pushed several students to brace up the exam and several others to give up their medical aspirations.
While the National Test had run into outrage initially, most of the states had later got used to the test, leaving the students to clear the burdensome gateway to acquire a medical seat in leading medical colleges and varsities. Tamil Nadu has been one of the states that furiously voiced against the test and it has largely been demanding the Center to repeal the National Test.
Several students in Tamil Nadu had committed suicide after failing to clear the entrance test. At least one student had died each year due to NEET and during the election campaigns for the state assembly polls, the DMK had assured that it will take steps to abolish NEET in Tamil Nadu. After assuming power in the state, DMK has now formed a committee to study the impact of NEET in medical admissions.
According to reports, educationalists in the state are complaining that rural students, poor students in urban areas, government school students, and Tamil medium students could not get the chance to study medical education in the past few years after the implementation of NEET. On Saturday, the government said that it is resolved to ensure social justice and to take all measures to remove the impact of NEET.
In a release on Saturday, the government said, "They (students and educationalists) demand the abolition of the entrance test which is against social justice. They want medical admissions based on Class 12 board exam marks as implemented during the previous DMK government headed by M Karunanidhi. The Tamil Nadu government has undertaken several legal battles."
The release further said, "The committee will study whether the common medical entrance test (NEET) has affected the socially backward students in the past few years. If it has affected them, then the committee will suggest alternate admission procedures for the benefit of all students and possibilities for implementing these admission procedures and legal avenues. Educationists and officials also will be part of this high-level committee."
It must be noted that the previous ADMK regime had introduced a 7.5% special reservation for government school students in medical admissions under the grounds that the government school students could not join medical college after the implementation of NEET. The press release has noted that former Chief Minister Karunanidhi had always insisted on providing medical admission to the students based on their Class 12 final exams and not through NEET. According to reports, 1.16 lakh students appeared for NEET in Tamil Nadu in 2020 of which 57,217 students had cleared the entrance test.